La Liga champions Atletico Madrid have contacted Santi Cazorla’s entourage and are convinced they can lure the Arsenal star to the Vicente Calderon this summer.
This is according to Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, who was speaking on Revista de la Liga on Monday evening.
Balague revealed that Atletico Madrid could also land Cazorla for a relatively cheap price at the end of the season, due to the fact he will have 12 months left to run on his contract.
Cazorla's contract expires earlier than expected
Cazorla, 30, signed a new contract with Arsenal last March. The length of that new deal was never confirmed, but the BBC were led to believe it ran until 2017.
However, Balague is confident that Cazorla’s current contract expires in the summer of 2016 - which may encourage Arsenal to cash-in on the former Villarreal and Malaga star at the end of the current campaign.
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Balague: Atletico are confident over Cazorla deal
“He has 18 months left on his contract at Arsenal, and Atletico have contacted Cazorla’s entourage,” Ballague said. ”Atletico are convinced that they can persuade the player to join them. Then they just have to pay the money.
"There will be one year left on his contract in the summer, and will be available for cheaper.”
Cazorla has been outstanding this season
Cazorla, with the exception of summer signing Alexis Sanchez, has arguably been Arsenal’s standout player this season.
The Spaniard has scored seven goals in 35 appearances - including six in the Premier League - and picked up the club’s Player of the Month award for both December and January.
His imperious display against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium was one of the primary reasons Arsenal managed to secure an unlikely 2-0 win over the reigning Premier League champions last month.
Cazorla’s performances have been so good in recent months, in fact, that the injured Jack Wilshere may struggle to win back his place in Arsenal’s starting line-up once he returns from his latest ankle problem.
Cazorla may fancy Spain return
That Atletico are interested in signing the Arsenal star, despite his advancing years, is unlikely to come as a shock to Gunners’ boss Arsene Wenger.
Cazorla was a huge success in La Liga and still has plenty to offer any top European club, even though he turns 31 in December.
The opportunity to return to Spain may also appeal to Cazorla after three years in England. However, the technically-gifted midfielder will be keen to add another major trophy to his collection before he walks away from the Emirates Stadium.
He helped Arsenal lift the FA Cup last year - scoring a stunning free-kick in the final - and won the Community Shield at the start of this season.
Arsenal fans must brace themselves for Cazorla exit
The Gunners stand virtually no chance of winning the Premier League title this season, but are still in the Champions League and will face Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-finals next month.
Arsenal fans should start preparing themselves for Cazorla’s probable summer exit now.
Will Santi leave the Gunners at the end of the season, Arsenal fans? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.
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